#schoolsafety | Virginia school safety grant funding includes money for resource, security officers

virginia politics
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Virginia is committing $6.8 million in grant funding to help local school systems hire school resource officers and school security officers.

The money is part of a $37.5 million criminal justice grant package announced on Friday by Gov. Glenn Youngkin, which also includes monies to support local victim witness programs, gun violence prevention programs, juvenile delinquency prevention programming and hospital-based violence prevention programming.

The school grants will support 86 SRO positions and 15 SSO positions for FY23 in school divisions throughout the Commonwealth.

Youngkin has proposed an additional $22.5M in both FY 23 and 24 to fund additional SRO and SSO positions in Virginia’s schools. Included in the governor’s proposed increase is language that waives the matching cash requirements for grant recipients in the first year of the four-year grant, further alleviating the burden on the localities to find matching funds for these grants which require a local match.

“The grants awarded today will provide funding for localities that fund positions and programs that help to make our schools and communities safe as well as ensuring our youth and crime victims receive the support and services they need,” Youngkin said. “These awards also reflect my commitment to make school safety my number one priority and I look forward to making available the additional funding I have proposed in the upcoming budget.”

“As a former sheriff, I understand how essential these grant funds are to support criminal justice programming in Virginia’s communities. School resource officers and school security officers are critical to a safe school environment that supports learning and supports our teachers and staff,” said Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Robert Mosier.

“The grants awarded today reflect Virginia’s commitment to support local programs Virginia is proud to boast one of the most robust school resource officer programs in the nation and DCJS has been supporting these programs since the 1990s,” said Director Jackson Miller. “These grants and the additional available funding propel Virginia as the leader in school safety efforts and our dedication to have the safest schools in the country.”

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